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Why it is so Important to Support Our Parents and Caregivers

This year called on us to not only adapt our teaching practices, but also reimagine the ways in which we provide support to students and their families.

By Whitney Stoepel-Brewer

June 11, 2021

Demonstrate Resilience: VOCEL

As we reflect on the past school year, we have been inspired by the innovation from our educators, parents, schools, and community partners. More than ever before, the success of our students depends on the strong relationships between teachers and parents or caregivers. In 2016, VOCEL launched a two-generation early learning accelerator called the Child Parent Academy. It prepares young children for preschool, academic growth, and future life endeavors. They also coach parents on how to capitalize on the earliest years when brain development is most rapid.

In the video above, we spoke with VOCEL co-founder/executive director and TFA alumna Jesse Ilhardt (Greater Chicago-Northwest Indiana, ‘08) about the need to provide caregivers with a different type of support during this unprecedented year.

“The resilience of our staff and families has been a result of talking about the challenges we are experiencing and really working together.”

Jesse Illhardt

Co-Founder and Executive Director, VOCEL

Greater Chicago-Northwest Indiana Corps Member 2008

Like everyone else, when the pandemic hit, VOCEL had to quickly figure out how to pivot all their classes to an online environment. It was both a logistical feat and an emotional time for everyone. Jesse talks about how recognizing the anxiety that their kids, teachers, and caregivers were feeling was an important part of providing support while switching to remote lessons. Jesse is one of the many innovative alumni who adapted their teaching practices and reimagined the ways in which we provide support to students and their families this year.